When I first learned about gazpacho as it's made authentically in Spain, I was amazed. It's really the simplest of soups, a combination of raw tomatoes and stale bread with a restrained use of garlic, onion, and pepper. Since then, it's been adapted a thousand different ways, and rightly so, as there's hardly anything more refreshing than a raw, cold soup on a hot summer's night. The key is in balancing the flavors and seasoning properly. In particular, be liberal with acidity and salt to make gazpacho bright and mouthwatering the way it should be.
No Spaniard would be caught putting watermelon in their gazpacho, but the idea was too intriguing to pass up. In this version from Lucid Food, there's no bread, but classic Spanish ingredients like blended almonds and smoked paprika carry the soup into a savory-sweet realm that's pretty delicious. To make the soup even brighter, I added lime juice, which goes wonderfully with watermelon.
- 6 cups watermelon chunks, seeded
- 5 tomatoes, cored and quartered
- 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1/2 cup toasted almonds
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Chipotle adobo sauce from canned chipotles or cayenne to taste (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1/4 cup diced onion, soaked in water for 15 minutes
- 1 cucumber, seeded and diced
In a blender, add 2 cups of the watermelon and purée until liquid.
Add the remaining watermelon, tomatoes, paprika, garlic, almonds, lime juice, and chipotle sauce (start with a teaspoon). Blend until very smooth, at least 2-3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and more vinegar, if necessary.
Transfer soup to the refrigerator (or freezer to save time) until chilled. Garnish with onion and cucumber.